The InSight team is comprised of scientists and engineers from multiple disciplines and represents a unique collaboration between diverse countries and organizations around the world. The international science team includes co-investigators from the U.S., France, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Japan, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
Led by Mars Exploration Rover (MER) project scientist Bruce Banerdt, a planetary geophysicist with a career-long interest in the processes that change the surfaces of planets, InSight is a mission of opportunity - for scientists from diverse fields of study to look inside Mars to see the entire past of terrestrial planet formation.
W. Bruce Banerdt, principal investigator: Banerdt has spent the last 20 years working to put a seismometer on Mars; seismology is the "gold standard" for investigations on Earth, he says. In addition to heading InSight's science team, Banerdt is the lead for the mission's SEIS instrument, which will bring the power of Earth-based seismology to the Red Planet. For him, InSight represents a unique opportunity to get a window into the "hidden" processes that shaped not only Mars, but also all the terrestrial planets.
Suzanne Smrekar, deputy principal investigator: Suzanne Smrekar, whose research focuses on the thermal evolution of planets, is the lead for InSight's HP3 instrument. Smrekar has spent her career doing extensive testing and development on instruments designed to measure the thermal properties and heat flow on other planets. The InSight mission will give her a chance to put her research to work and gather key information about a missing piece of the evolutionary puzzle.
Sami Asmar, RISE investigation lead: An expert in advanced studies using radio waves, Sami Asmar is the lead for InSight's RISE investigation. His work in the field of radio science is already contributing to the NASA GRAIL mission's investigation of the moon's gravity and evolution. For Asmar, bringing a radio science investigation to Mars represents not only a new challenge - but also an essential task in discovering the true properties of Mars and other terrestrial planets.
The InSight mission team also includes project manager Tom Hoffman and deputy project manager Henry Stone.